It's no secret that I LOVE going to the thrift store. I could get "lost" in there for hours. At times, I've come across the most atrocious looking shirts and would stare at them, wondering who in their right mind would be caught in such an embarrassing item. (I'm a snob, what can I say?!? ;) ) Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for me, I've never been invited to an ugly holiday sweater party where I could justify buying such shirts. (Some of them aren't really holiday themed, but I'm sure I could glue fake coins or candles to them for a festive Hanukkah feel. Today, Chick Lit Cheerleader Jen Tucker takes us behind the scenes of a such a party and gives us the good, the bad, and the--um--ugly about her experience.
Twice as "nice"
I’m über competitive. I might nonchalantly mention rivalry isn’t a big deal. I’ll even laugh it off as unimportant in my crazy world. I’m lying. Don’t buy it for a second. The person I’m most cutthroat with is me. Over the summer I began swimming laps three days a week when our local YWCA indoor pool reopened. Swim teams were my life growing up and I couldn’t wait to dive back in the water. My vocabulary has changed a bit since hitting the lanes. When Mike asks, “How was your swim today, Jenny-fish?” I answer, “I did 50 in 28 minutes and 6-100 sprints.” His eyes glaze over while nodding and smiling yet I know, in his mind, he’s already moved on with his life. You swimmers feel me though, don’t you? I’m always racing against my personal best, and for the love of the gold medal I imagine waiting for me once I break my record.
My quest for the gold found its way into my soul a few weeks ago after receiving an invitation to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party. The thrill of having the most gaudy, glittered, unique outfit speaks to me. Last year, Mike and I won at a different gathering, thanks in part to googly eyes and foam stickers. This year, I wanted to turn it up a notch and really bring home the prize.
|Tiffany and I as conjoined twins!|
Tiffany cocked her head to the side, thought for a moment, and unconvinced replied, “Okay?”
I sensed she needed some prodding. “This will be the blue ribbon winner, I’m telling you! Trust me! We got this, girl,” I assured her.
Tiffany was buying into my madness as I narrated the use of jingle bells on a big shirt, pompoms attached via staples or craft glue, whatever it took. My arms furiously flailed about like I was landing a plane at O’Hare. She was in. I had her at pompoms.
Secret Keeper is my middle name. There was no squealing to a soul about our plan. What if conjoined triplets showed up? That would be anarchy—and cheating—just saying. We were so cloak and dagger, we hid behind my van while our hubbies tied us into our shirt before heading inside. It’s all about making an entrance.
We maneuvered the front steps, turned awkwardly to walk through the front door, and there before us was a plethora of ugly sweaters, holiday getups, and some true works of art. I noticed none of the other contenders for top prize considered using dental floss to stitch jingle bells onto their shirt like we did, and since two party goers work in dentistry, I felt this upped our chances to earn their votes. There was a whole hullabaloo of creative genius going on in that room. I knew the competition would be fierce. I thought we had a fighting chance. That was, until I saw my friend, Staci.
Staci crafted a work of pure brilliance. Her ugly sweater contribution? A mantle complete with all the fixings: stockings hung by the chimney with care, a roaring fire, holiday greetings from loved ones near and far, and a framed photo of Jesus. You bring Him into the equation, and you’re opponents are toast. Isn’t she adorable? She should’ve won simply for the serious biceps and triceps you must acquire to hold your arms outstretched like that to preserve the outfit’s integrity. Staci swept the congressional votes. Her prize was a chocolate Advent calendar which she quickly opened and let those of us she left in her faux snow dust have a nibble. She’s the best.
|Staci's mantle sweater that won the coveted prize|
Gathering with those I hold near and dear during the busyness of the holiday season always brings a smile to my face. And although Tif and I didn’t bring home the gold, we did represent and bring the ugly to the best of our ability. For now, I’ll take my dark horse-self back to the pool and duke it out with the time keeper on the wall saving all my energy to battle for the win next year. If you have any holiday themed parties you’ve thrown or attended, we’d love to hear all about them! I promise I won’t lift any of your ideas, as far as you know.
Happiest of Holidays to each and every one of you from our family here at CLC!
Jen Tucker is the author of the funny and true stories, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt. In September 2012, she had her children's book, Little Pumpkin published as an e-book. She also blogs monthly for Survival for Blondes. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband, three kids and two dogs. You can find her at Twitter, Facebook, her blog and on her website. And in case you missed them. check out her previous Chick Lit Cheerleader posts here.